My First Japanese Experience

I am going to talk about my first visit to Japan a few years back before I came to Texas, United States. My sister and I went from Taiwan to visit our other sister in Tokyo, Japan. After landing, we took the train to go back to our sister’s apartment, which was in the satellite city of Chiba. The first thing I noticed about Japan was the narrow roads and perfectly angled intersections. It seemed like you would have to do a strict 90 degrees turn if you wanted to hop onto another street in the intersection. It is would be impossible for any Texas-sized pickup to accomplish this task and maybe that’s why the cars were one of the things that are smaller in this country.

During our stay we spent most of our time hanging out in Chiba and Tokyo. Chiba is only about an hour away from Tokyo by train but the scenery is totally different. It’s a country town. Tons of juicy, humongous fruits such as apples, pears and peaches were laying in the small fruit stand alone the streets. The town was quiet and slow during the day because the majority of residents work in Tokyo. Some of the farmers would leave their stores wide open and exhibit their agricultural products with no guard. Customers are allowed to grab the pre-weight fruit bags away without asking anyone’s permission. The prices are listed at the side and the money bucket is next to the list. We checked the bucket out of curiosity and found that they do have good business and people pay honestly. The fruits I ate that summer were better than great.

To take the bullet train, Shinkansen, is another eye opening experience. Much stabler then a traditional train, and even faster than the subway, Shinkansen is relatively pricy and therefore might not be the best choice to commute between two spots that are close to each other. However it makes it possible to travel through Japan within a day.

Another great spot we visited was Tokyo Disneyland. It’s always great to visit this wonderland whether you’re in the East or the West. My favorite part is Toontown, where the major Disney animal characters live. I’ve decided that my dream house is the one pink house in the Toontown Square. The magnificent fireworks that were set to music and lasted more then thirty minutes made the day-pass totally worthwhile.

As for computer and electronic gadgets, you can’t miss Akihabara Station. It is known as a mini town within Tokyo full of goodies. I was impressed by the high density of people and stores in such a small area. You can find the fancy electronic devices such as digital camaras or the latest model MP3 player, all for a sweet price.

The last, but not the least, of the trip highlights was the visit to Karuizawa. It was humid and hot when we were hanging out in and around Tokyo. But the moment when we arrived Karuizawa it seemed as if we were in a totally different world. Karuizawa is a beautiful small mountain covered with tall trees located not too far away from the city. It was cool and pleasant the moment when I got out of the car. Closing my eyes I still can feel the breeze and the smell of all the phytoncide.

At the end of the trip on the airplane I was surprised to see how the Japanese cooperate while working. After guiding the airplane away from the port the guiders bowed to the airplane, to send off us travelers, and then they bowed to each other. This tells a lot about how they work as a team and also shows the elegant mannerisms present in Japan that you can’t really find anywhere else.

In conclusion, I had a fantastic experience in Japan. It was a great experience to see the most modern part of the city and also enjoy the natural scenery. Nice, clean streets almost everywhere, and polite, gentle people made a strong impression on me. I have never had another chance to go back, but Japan is always on my revisit list.

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